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The Truth About Fat

Narrated by: Malk Williams
Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)
Regular price: £18.99
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Summary

Sugar or fat? Gut microbes or genes? Laziness or poverty? Whatever it is, it’s placing a devastating burden on our health-care system, and scientists in every field are desperate to explain this epidemic and stave off a modern health disaster.  

Anthony Warner, author of The Angry Chef, is back, and he wants answers. In The Truth About Fat he scrutinises the explanations of academics, doctors, researchers and journalists. He lays out the best evidence available, rails against quack theories preying on the desperate and considers whether we are blaming our bodies for other people’s ignorance and cruelty. What remains is the unvarnished truth about one of the great preoccupations of our age.

©2019 Anthony Warner (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Eye opening

I must admit, before reading this I had no idea how the apparent majority of people felt about fat people. No clue that fat people are treated beyond contempt and are disgusting to most people, thanks for opening my eyes that it wasn’t just me who felt about myself this way. I am not an expert in most areas of the research, but I did find the use of satire to dismiss certain areas of research disconcerting, especially as this book is supposed to have its critiques rooted in science. Having said that, apart from fat people being perceived as unattractive burdens on healthcare, the other take home messages were to change your perceptions about fat people, that people should stop dieting and if you can, you should exercise.

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Grand in a way, but I'm not the target audience

This book tells the story of fat, what it is to be fat, what different techniques have been used to fight it, the science behind all sorts of fat related issues and how society and fat interact. It is framed around an investigation into what is causing the current ‘obesity epidemic’.

Despite being very interested in the subject matter, I am not part of the target audience for this book. It is aimed at non-fat people. It is aimed at people of prejudice. It is aimed at people who know very little about fatness and how and why it happens. It is aimed at people with power to make regulations on issues like how much sugar can be in sweetened drinks and the like. It is aimed at people unfamiliar with systems thinking. For these people I think it would be a very helpful and informative book. It is easy to listen to/read. It is passionate. It is informative and correct. It is on occasion quite humorous despite having a completely serious subject-matter.

Unfortunately, I am a biology graduate who has taken an interest in this sort of thing and who has also had to fight excess weight all my life. I personally found what was intended to be constant haranguing to stop being prejudiced against fat people very demoralising. Constantly rubbing in all the different ways people can attack you intentionally or unintentionally on a regular basis throughout the book was buffeting. People do these things – no duh! To also be told that anything you do to avoid weight gain is useless over and over again is demoralising. It is difficult though. People who do not live it do have to be told, but I felt like there should be a warning label on the cover saying don’t read this if you’re fat.

Possible spoiler alert…
I have also learned systems thinking and used it in my work. So finding that all he had to offer was “it is a complex problem that needs holistic thinking to attack it” as the great reveal at the end of his narrative and not as the starting assumption was quite a let-down for me. Again though, for anyone not already familiar with systems, a) why not, everyone should be taught this! It affects everything we do, and b) it is totally true and if you do not know what I’m talking about – read this book it will open your eyes and be really well worthwhile.

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  • LdF
  • Lincolnshire, UK
  • 08-02-19

Mind expanding, well researched, life changing

Couldn't stop listening to this book, truly mind expanding, superb research and life changing information. My views on obesity have been challenged and changed by this book. Like Anthony's first book, this cuts through the pseudoscience touted by celebrities and self proclaimed experts and exposes some of the lies and false information we are constantly being fed (no pun intended). Highly recommended read.

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performance

excellent performance again in this book. loads of great information and felt very educated after the listen.

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Dreadful

This is a nasty book, which ignores a great deal of evidence about why we get fat in order to rant for chapter after chapter, about how badly fat people are treated.
Warner belittles dedicated, highly qualified researchers he doesn't agree with, by referring to them as 'diet book authors', or 'jounalists', while escalating (to God like status,) people like Ancel Keys, who is known for simply ignoring his own data when it contradicted his theories.

When Warner quotes someone he agrees with, the narrator speaks in effusive and gushing tones.This is followed by their full title and credentials.
In my opinion it is ill judged, biased, repetitive and adds nothing of value to the debate.